"Lança-Chamas... as 7 Vidas do Heavy Metal" (Flamethrower... "The 7th Lives of Heavy Metal")
Lança-Chamas (Flamethrower) was the very 1st Heavy Metal Radio show on Portuguese national radio, Rádio Comercial. It was presented by one of the most charismatic radio broadcasters of all time, the great António Sérgio (R.I.P. 1950-2009). Dedicated to Hard Rock and all variants of Heavy Metal, "Flamethrower" debuted on October 23rd 1983, with only one hour of program. Alignment of the first program:
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks
Judas Priest - Heading Out To The Highway
Black Sabbath - Disturbing The Priest
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Aerosmith - Chiquita
AC/DC - High Voltage
AC/DC - Let There Be Rock
Deep Purple - Black Night
Dio - Stand Up And Shout
Ted Nugent - Free For All
Judas Priest - Pain And Pleasure
Black Sabbath - Trashed
The impressive charisma of António Sérgio, his magnificent "big voice", the scarcity of programs of its kind, the courage to make an unusual program of this nature at the national level, the project ensured immediate success and at the request of the fans, quickly spread to two hours show aorund 1985.The work of António Sérgio influenced not only the formation of a considerable number of bands, fanzines, Metal Fan-Clubs and other related projects, but also the creation of numerous programs in full boom of the pirate radios and also local radios, driving directly and significantly the development of the Portuguese Metal Underground in the 80s.
Listening to the "Flamethrower" on Saturday afternoon between 16h and 18h was a ritual, a religious act. Waiting to the first chords of the fabulous "Eruption" (Van Halen) intro! Hear those 1`42m of music shivered us from head to toe, plunges us deep into the wonderful world of Heavy Metal. We entered in another dimension, under the motto "The 7th Lives of Heavy Metal". We recorded the whole program so we could hear it over and over. Obviously we reproduce it to friends, who repeated the ritual ad aeternum, driving the phenomenon of tape-tradding in Portugal at breakneck speed. Every Antonio`s syllable, every sentence was voluptuously assimilated. Listen carefully to that voice almost hypnotic, very powerful, hot, full, surrounding us and given us a sense of power, excitement. It was at the "Flamethrower" that we heard at first-hand the latest albums of the biggest international bands, discovered new and exciting sub-genres, hear the emerging groups, the main novelties of the Eternal Sound.
The "Flamethrower" did not forget the National Underground. With the entry of Paulo "Scorp" Fernandes (lead singer of Cruise, who recorded a 7" single) and Gustavo Vidal (head of the Heavy Metal Zombies Paranoid Fan-Club and the fanzine Renascimento do Metal) on the program team (Antonio Freitas also, as assistant in the late '80s), the headbangers were introduced to the latest Portuguese bands and fanzines, Metal Fan-Clubs, concerts or Sunday matinees at the legendary Rock Rendez Vous (when there were concerts in a few weeks and passage of music with transmission of other clips from MTV).
However, despite enormous success, the direction of the Radio Comercial tries several times to close the program. Outraged, thousands of fans responded en masse with protest letters, keeping the "Flamethrower" in the air. Until the early 90s, the privatization of the station would even spell the end of the program around 1992, which was to be held at Radio Energy for a brief period before close down permanently, leaving a gap impossible to fill in the Metal radio in Portugal.
António Sérgio was director and radio announcer, DJ, led a record label, producer, promoter and music expert. He forever marked the Portuguese radio. Its enormous honesty, broad culture, unmatched charisma, professionalism beyond reproach and genuine passion for music influenced thousands. António Sérgio died of a heart attack, November 1st 2009.
text by Dico